Designing linocuts or any artwork can be a very individual process depending on many factors including the nature of the artist and the media they work in, the style of work and can even come down to the space/time available.
Many artists work in a highly intuitive and spontaneous manner, particularly in the contemporary arts practice and produce the most wonderful inspirational work.
Other artists spend a long time researching background information, drawing individual aspects of the design or idea, sampling colours and producing smaller works either in total or parts of the final artwork. This method has been a time-honoured tradition so that we have artists workbooks/journals/sketchbooks from great artists like Leonardo Da Vinci – it is through these that we can get a better sense of what the artist was thinking and how they went about producing their artworks.
It is interesting that in art education in high schools now the “journal” or process is an integral part of the curriculum with students needing to show how they came to the end product – their artwork. The NSW HSC requires the use of the “artist journal” as part of the marking and assessment processes.